First up is our biggest program of the year, our fall Carnival. Instead of operating a reading program prize booth all summer, we do an annual Carnival on the Saturday after Labor Day. We hold this event outside in our parking lot. (There is plenty of street parking and we are also able to "borrow" the parking lot from the funeral home next door, assuming there are no visitations scheduled that day.) From noon to three, kids can exchange their "library dollars" they've been earning in our SRP for carnival game tickets. Then they earn prize tickets and get to pick out their own prize. We've been doing this for a long time (this year is the 40th annual Carnival) and it generally runs pretty smoothly. Last year, it poured rain all day, but usually the weather is beautiful. We get several hundred attendees at this event. I promise to post more nitty-gritty details about how this program later. Until that happens, here is my Pinterest board with ideas. (Many of the links below will also be to Pinterest boards--such an amazing place to find and save programming ideas!)
After Carnival, the youth staff generally takes a couple weeks off to decompress and focus on some other projects that never seem to get done during a hard-core programming period like summer reading. So I usually start my storytimes the first week of October. We offer two storytimes: one for kids under 2 and one for preschoolers. They are pretty standard (but based on this philosophy) and I have written storytime outlines as well as an overview of my storytimes before.
When we did our patron survey this summer, the most frequent request was for us to offer more programs for school age kids. To fill that gap, I'm going to be trying out some new programs: a one-day superhero camp and a one-day sewing camp that I am hoping to eventually turn into a monthly sewing club-type program. I am trying them out on a Saturday afternoon. We will also be continuing our very popular monthly Lego programming
We will also start preparing for our annual winter break puppet show, so I am excited about that. I love doing our puppet shows. We get huge numbers and it is a really fun chance to stretch some different creative muscles. You can read more about our puppet programming by browsing the puppet ideas tag. Also coming up in the winter, will be a spy training camp, Jedi training camp, more storytimes (including a storytime campout!), and some other ideas I haven't thought up yet! Suggestions and comments welcome!